Day 180: Finally Finished

Okay. So this is all just weird.

It feels like I’m starting completely over.

I mean, like, doing things like having to hold my hand back (almost literally) from my son’s bag of goldfish crackers.

Forcing myself to fill up a glass of water instead of making myself a bowl of granola (with peanut butter. and raisins. and honey.)

Doing an extra search through the pantry to see if there just might be something in there other than raisins and peanuts to eat so that I can avoid eating fruit or something generally healthy.

I mean, I thought that girl was gone. Totally gone. No longer a part of me. But there she was… just below the surface. And Satan was waiting oh so patiently to set her loose. All it took was a few weeks of biblelessness and prayerlessness and I was ready for a visit from my old self.

And I see now what a fragile balance this will be. I see why people say “once an addict, always an addict…”. But like I said the other day, I am glad that I am not finished. And it is such a relief to know that I won’t be finished until the day Jesus comes back!!!

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within me, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. Philippians 1:6

So I’ll just keep doing my thang. letting Jesus work on me. letting God work on finishing me. Takes a little pressure off to be all new and shiny and perfect… reminds me that Jesus is the one to be all those things in me.

Day 179: I Am

I am imperfect.

I am merely human.

I sin.

I fail.

I am incomplete.

But…

I am saved.

I am redeemed.

I am forgiven.

I am made perfect.

I am not finished.

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within me, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. Philippians 1:6

This is a mini post, but it is just what I’m needing to tell myself right now. I have been struggling like cuh.ray.zey. lately! But…

He. is. not. finished. with. me.

Every day is a new day. Every chance is a new chance. His Love is in every day… in every chance.

Ahhhhhhhhh.

I needed to remind myself. And I’ll need to remind myself again tomorrow.

Please – if I don’t post tomorrow. Please check on me. I need some encouragement while I get my mind back on track.

Day 178: You Complete Me

So, I’m having to backtrack a bit here since I have fallen behind quite a bit. Like I mentioned on day 171, summer is a bit of a routine killer for me, and I think most of my blogging was really routined during the school year.

Plus, yes, I have been sorta “meh” about the whole covenant in general lately.

Now, allow me to clarify what I mean by that.

I believe in God. I believe in His Power to change me. I believe that this covenant is a powerful agreement with God based on my love for Him and His Love for me. I believe that He knows my failings and my successes are going to come and go. I believe that He will love and adore me no matter what the outcome of today or tomorrow or the next day.

And there is the crux. I believe all of these things… I know them in my heart of hearts. But there are just some times when believing doesn’t… work. Remember this verse in James?

You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. James 2:19

Now, I don’t want to get into a theological discussion about this verse (as I know there could be a deep theological discussion about it) because that is for another time… another blog. But my point is that James is punking these guys out… listen to his sass: “Good for you!” Haha… love that! What he is telling us though is that sometimes our human-version of faith isn’t enough, we HAVE to have what we often call “works”… referred to in this verse as “actions”:

You see, his faith and his actions worked together. His actions made his faith complete. James 2:22

And I have definitely seen that in action lately. I have had zeroooooooooooooooo personal motivation to eat fruit and veggies. All I have wanted was pantry junk… stuff that is “on” the covenant but is not necessarily beneficial. And I have had quite a bit of that pantry junk over the past two weeks (see day 170). I have had bread again, which I said I wouldn’t have. I have even been sneaky about foods and allowed my old-self to resurface a few times and could hear a battle inside of me about eating something when I was not hungry but just wanted the taste… or the escape… or the experience.

But time and time again, even though I was heinously close to breaking the covenant, I have held the line. I have remembered that covenant and forced myself to act according to that covenant.

My actions have made my faith complete.

They have not made my faith easy.

But complete.

And so as I work through this time of difficulty and lack of motivation and struggle… I will do my best to make my actions fall in line and follow the covenant that I have made with the Almighty God.

And He will complete me.

Day 175: Christ Convo

Every time I think that I have got it down… got it figured out… got it good… got it all learned…

then I realize how much I still have to learn. This is why we need to be around our elders. We’ll live better lives if we listen to their wisdom. It’s like they give us the fast track to happiness. If we listen to them, more often than not, we get to skip over the mistakes and the hardship.

And this particular lesson is: prayer.

And how many times have I learned this lesson? I dunno… lots.

My husband’s grandmother gave me a book when he and I got married called The Power of a Praying Wife. I ignored it for a year or two. I prayed… sometimes. When I prayed… I asked for what I wanted. what I thought was best. what I had figured out would be good for me.

Yeah… I got a lot of what I prayed for… and it wasn’t necessarily a good thing.

Then, I read through that book… not even sure why, but it totally changed my perspective on a bunch of things. Like, I stopped praying specifics about what I wanted God to change about my husband, and I started praying only that God would give my husband wisdom and that He would continue to make my husband more and more like Him.

Yeah… that worked a lot better than the self-centered blech I was praying before.

And yeah… I’m having myself a little bit of a revival about prayer right now. Only this time it’s not about my husband, but just about me.

I have always been the type to pray continually… just when something pops into my head I pray about it. I also used to journal my prayers a lot (at least I did before I had kids… since I had my first son five years ago, I fall asleep three or four lines in)!

But lately, there has been almost no prayer… no conversation… going from me to God. And honestly, I think I have been blocking out what He’s been trying to say to me. Yesterday’s post was really the first time that I had really talked to Him.

And I find myself almost having to retrain myself with how to pray. or with being comfortable with praying. or with “making” myself take the time to stop and pray. or all of those.

You see, I think that what I did for a while is that I was replacing prayer with the reciting of scripture.

Now, reciting scripture to myself has gotten me through a bazillion temptations… but I think what happened is that slowly I started to lose my connection with the One that said the scriptures in the first place! It was almost as if instead of relying upon God and God’s power to save me, I was relying upon the Bible… almost in a worship-the-wrong-thing kind of way.

Oops.

But part of this whole thing is a learning process. And it takes times of “failure” and a following of introspection.

And it’s kind of nice that an “oops” is sufficient. Because after the “oops” comes action (like I talked about here). The action is prayer… reconnecting with the Spirit of God. reconnecting with His Power. reconnecting with His Love. His Grace. His Hope.

Oooooo, and I just found this:

I love the LORD because he hears my voice and my prayer for mercy. Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath! Psalm 116:1-2

Day 174: Oh My Darling Clementine

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I love clementines.

I don’t really like to pray.

Uhhhhhhhhh… what?

Yeah, that’s what I said. I love clementines but I don’t really like to pray.

… ??? …

I’ll break it down for ya with a story (shocker, right? haha)

About two months ago, clementines apparently went out of season. Maybe this is not news to anyone else, but I had no idea that clementines went “out of season” so much that they wouldn’t carry them in the stores. I mean, oranges are there year-round, right? So, what’s up with clementines?

I don’t know, but they were out of season… and my main standby was suddenly gone! Mind you, I was eating clementines three or four times a day, so this left a huge hole in my “go to” habits.

Well, I have not stopped craving them.

Alright, that’s the clementine background. Now for the prayer… and the two will intersect in a moment, so stay with me.

I have also recently realized as I constantly evaluate why this covenant has become “meh” to me lately, that along with not keeping up with my bible reading, I have also not been praying. Like… at all. The bible stuff, eh, I’d get in a verse here and there, but honestly… I was just NOT talking to Jesus. or God. or the Holy Spirit.

Yeah, that is not good.

So, the other day after realizing this, I prayed… a little prayer… nothing too risky or emotional or anything…

God… ummmmmm… I’m really having some trouble lately. I don’t know what’s wrong, but… maybe you could help me figure out what is wrong? [This is my way of asking for wisdom, by the way.] I don’t really want fruit… well, I mean, I’d love a clementine, but they are out of season. Anyway… Amen.

And that was it. No more prayer. No more thinking about it. Just… it.

And then my husband went to the store to get something for an upcoming business trip he is going on and he got some fruit while he was there… and in that bag… was a sack of clementines.

I’ll admit… my mouth dropped open in shock. My mind immediately went to that prayer. And I got those God goosebumps.

And I opened up a clementine, and it was the most amazing fruit ever… even better than pineapple.

None of the other clementines have been that good… in fact, they haven’t been good at all really. They obviously are… out of season.

But that one… that one darling clementine… well, it was no earthly clementine… that was an answered prayer. that was an “I Love You”. that was a reminder. like a rainbow that the world would not flood again…

That was God.

Day 173: Kriya For Kidneys

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So my friend Ana is getting her yoga certification and apparently with that she gets to sorta do some of her own “advanced” yoga kind of stuff. She said it was called kriya, and from the thirty seconds that I researched it on the internet, it looks like kriya can range from doing some crazy yoga moves that will clear out constipation (seriously)… all the way to cleaning out your closet.

(She was telling me the latter type of kriya – ha!)

Anyway, one of the parts of kriya, which at it’s core seems to be about cleansing, is to rid yourself of unwanted, unnecessary, unhelpful, unmotivating “stuff” from your life. According to Ana, starting in the closet is a good place to begin. So, I gave it a try… now, my closet is already pretty streamlined because it is soooooooo tiny. It’s a “walk in closet” but only in name… cause that’s all you can do… is take one. step. in. and then look around. But I certainly had some things that were in there that I was making bad associations.

Like the shirt above… first of all, I always feel like I’m going clubbing when I wear it, but ummmmmm… in case you can’t tell from the posts about my life… clubbing is not something that I do anymore. And lest you think it’s because I am so terribly upstanding and righteous, it is actually because I just get grossed out by all the sweaty people, and desperate guys, and the late, late nights… so, basically, it’s just because I’m old! Haha! (Plus, I dance pretty much all the time in my house, thank you very much Pandora).

Also, I bought it when I was several sizes bigger and I thought it made me look skinny (which it was a flattering shirt), and once I put it on at my size now I was a little disgusted with myself for wearing it before… it looked snug on me now so I would imagine that it was wayyyyyyyyy too snug then.

Annnnnnnnnd, I have to safety pin the straps on the under-shirt part of it so that it doesn’t hang down to my belly button… it’s one of those shirts that I’m pretty sure about three days after I bought it at full price, they put it on the clearance rack for 75% off or sent them all off to Ross.

Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd, it was always. forever. constantly. falling off of the hanger it was on. It didn’t matter WHAT type of hanger I put that dad gum thing on… it would fall off. And that drove me CRAZY.

So. I kriyaed that thing. Put it in the give away. In fact, in the picture above, it’s in the doorway between my laundry room and my garage to go in the pile that the National Kidney Foundation was picking up that day, so that sucker is gonnnnnnnne!

And it really does feel better to have it gone!

Yes, it was a shirt that I loved at one point, but now it’s just a blah. And this life that Christ came for, well, like He said…

My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. John 10:10

And I’m pretty sure the word “blah” or “meh” is not in there.

Therefore… let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. Hebrews 12:1

So, day by day, I’ll be getting rid of the “meh” in my life. Purging the “blah” from each day. And seeking out that rich and satisfying life that He came to give me.